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Benchmarks finished in the green on Thursday for the second successive sessions after James Comey’s testimony ended without any major revelations. Investors also remained focused on the outcome of the U.K. general election and European Central Bank’s meeting in Estonia. Meanwhile, investors digested jobless claims data released on Thursday.
For a look at the issues currently facing the markets, make sure to read today’s Ahead of Wall Street article.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) advanced 8.84 points to close at 21,182.53 retreating from an intraday record of 21,265.69. The S&P 500 rose 0.65 points to close at 2,433.79. The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.4% to a record close at 6,321.76, retreating from an intraday record of 6,324.06. The fear-gauge CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) fell to trade at 10.2 on Thursday. Advancers outnumbered declining stocks on the NYSE by 1,624 to 1,188.
James Comey’s Testimony
Investors digested the testimony from former FBI director James Comey at the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday which was his first public appearance since Trump dismissed him last month.
Comey said that although he had no doubt over Russia’s interference in U.S. election, he was confident that such interference had no impact on election results. Comey said that he was worried over Trump’s bid to dismiss him from an investigation into ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn’s possible connection with Russian sources, but would not comment whether he thought the President wanted to thwart justice.
Earlier, investors were worried that any further revelation about an investigation into Russian interference into the U.S. presidential election could dampen investor sentiment. In such a situation, Trump’s pro growth agenda including tax cuts, infrastructure spending and deregulation, whose implementation is already in doubt, would, once again, come under a cloud. However, lack of major revelations in Comey’s testimony ensured that investors remained unaffected.
UK’s General Election
Investors also remained focused on the outcome of the U.K. election to see whether Euro-skeptic Prime Minister Theresa May’s Conservative Party will be able to retain its majority in parliament intact. With three separate terrorist attacks hitting the country in recent weeks, the British populace is understandably rattled. As per recent polls, May’s lead has narrowed over the past few weeks. The outcome of the contest between Theresa May and Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn will ultimately is expected to have a major impact as Britain prepares to negotiate its way out of the EU.
European Central Bank Policy Meeting
Additionally, on Thursday, the European Central Bank hinted no more interest rate cuts were forthcoming in the short term when it met in Estonia. At a news conference in Estonia, European Central Bank (ECB) President Mario Draghi has dropped rhetoric relating to “downside risks” in the European economy, thereby striking a more dovish tone than previously.
Draghi said he expects GDP to rise faster in the Union, and mentioned that inflation was subdued. But he did not discuss tapering or an exit strategy from current policy. Slowly but surely, Draghi appeared to be allowing the EU to continue to strengthen on its own. (Read More)
As per the Labor Department, seasonally adjusted initial claims decreased to 245,000 in the week ending June 3. The figure saw a decline of 10,000 from the previous week’s revised level of 255,000. However, the four week moving average was recorded at 242,000, an increase of 2,250 from the previous week’s revised average.
Stocks that made Headlines
Retailers are trimming their store count and declaring bankruptcy in response to sluggish traffic, guess what Nordstrom, Inc. (JWN – Free Report) is up to that caused its shares to move up 10.3% yesterday. (Read More)
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